Microsoft releases Windows Me

Microsoft today announced the immediate availability of Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me), its new Windows 9x-based operating system for home users. Windows Me is available in the standard Full and Upgrade editions, as well as a special Step Up edition, which will allow users of Windows 98 and 98 SE to upgrade at a lower cost for a limited time. Windows Me is already being preinstalled on PCs from major PC makers such as Dell, Gateway, IBM and Compaq, and today's release will open up the product to millions of users through other PC makers and retail stores such as Best Buy and CompUSA. Microsoft plans a special 90-minute Webcast launch event for the product, which signals the end of the aging Windows 9x product line.

"Microsoft is pleased to announce the retail availability of Windows Millennium Edition," said Greg Sullivan, lead product manager for consumer Windows at Microsoft. "We have worked to provide our customers with the best platform for home computing, and Windows Me provides that experience by delivering advances in the areas of PC health, online experience, home networking and digital media."

Windows Me focuses on several key areas that were most often cited by customers as those that they wished to see improved in future versions of Windows. Windows Me is more stable and reliable than its predecessors, for example, thanks to PC Health technologies such as System Restore, and System File Protection. And Windows Me includes a number of digital media features, home networking improvements, and online integration functionality.

But as a subscriber to WinInfo Daily UPDATE, you know all this: As with the Windows 2000 launch, I'd like to note that many professional industry news sites are today launching "special reports" about Windows Me in an attempt to cash in on the release of Microsoft's new consumer OS. However, I've been writing about Windows Me since July 1999 and you can find the fruits of this work on my SuperSite for Windows, which includes a wide range of Windows Me content and will continue to do so long after those other special reports are but a memory. And I'll be launching a set of technology showcases, aimed at Windows Me's new features, beginning next week

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